Monday, February 07, 2005

Monday Watch

Weekend News
Japan's Fair Trade Commission suspects Intel's local unit violated the country's Antimonopoly Law and plans to issue the company a warning, the Asahi newspaper reported. Canada may send about 40 soldiers to a NATO force of 300 to help train Iraqi troops in Baghdad, reversing its current opposition to join a US-led coalition that ousted Saddam Hussein, the Toronto Star reported. The NYSE has set up a taskforce to explore a possible IPO and conversion into a for-profit organization, the Financial Times reported. Qwest Communications International's negotiations to acquire MCI lost momentum Friday, the NY Times reported. Iraq may reopen an oil pipeline that's been shut for 57 years to Israel's Haifa port, Maariv said. New York's restaurants and bars are experiencing increases in business amid the citywide smoking ban that many predicted would hurt the industry, the NY Times reported. More than 4,000 US pilots are allowed to carry guns, and they are flying armed on more flights each day than air marshals, Time magazine reported. Canada's health minister may adopt restrictions later this year aimed at cutting drug sales from Canadian pharmacies to US customers to ensure a sufficient supply for Canadians, the Star-Ledger reported. IBM, Toshiba and Sony may on Monday announce details of a new chip designed for consumer electronics, the Financial Times reported. EBay will lower some fees and improve customer service in response to criticism of increases planned for other fees, the Wall Street Journal reported. China's finance ministry has approved the introduction of a $6.4 billion state fund to support the country's stock markets, China Business reported. Universal Music and Apple Computer may start selling Chinese-language pop music on the Internet in North America and Europe, the Financial Times reported. Support for the insurgency among the population of Iraq is declining as a new sense of national pride develops, the Washington Post reported. Giuliani Partners, an investment company run by former NY mayor Giuliani, will invest $479 million in a Japanese wind-power company, the Nihon Keizai reported. The US attorney's office is investigating 10-20 traders on the floor of the NYSE for suspected illegal trading practices, the NY Times said. Carlyle Group is one of four bidders competing to buy Connecticut-based ship-owner Navios Corp. for about $500 million, Lloyd's List reported. The Group of Seven industrial nations said the outlook for global growth remains "robust," while promising individual steps to sustain the level of expansion, Bloomberg reported. The US is concerned with "internal developments" in Russia and would like the nation to strengthen the rule of law and other "basics of democracy," Secretary of State Rice said. Gold prices may fall for a second week on concern the International Monetary Fund, the owner of 2.1% of the world's bullion, will sell the metal to finance a reduction of poor countries' debt, a Bloomberg survey showed. The Paris Court of Appeals will hear Billionaire hedge fund investor George Soros's arguments Feb. 10 and make a decision a few weeks late on whether to uphold or overturn his original insider trading conviction, Bloomberg reported. Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes and the New England defense forced four turnovers as the Patriots beat the Eagles 24-21 for their third Super Bowl title in four years, Bloomberg reported. The US dollar is rising to a three-month high against the euro tonight on positive comments from Alan Greenspan on Friday, Bloomberg said. GM, Ford and DaimlerChrysler resumed offering 0%, five-year financing deals for sport-utility vehicles to help clear out unsold models, the Wall Street Journal said.

Weekend Recommendations
-Bulls and Bears: Had guests that were positive on EXC, MO and mixed on CIN, BSC, DRS, IRM, CI, MSO, PNC, PEP, INTU.
-Forbes on Fox: Had guests that were positive on CKP, HPQ, SY, BSC and mixed on VIAB.
-Cashin' In: Had guests that were positive on BYD, ABV, WBSN, EBAY, PFE and mixed on SFD, LZB, ARBA.
-Barron's: Had positive comments on RNWK, WPSC, NEM, PDG, GFI and KMG. Had negative comments on MSO.
-Goldman Sachs: Reiterated Outperform on AGN, EBAY and PFE. Reiterated Underperform on UIS.

Night Trading
Asian Indices are higher, +.50% to +1.50% on average.
S&P 500 indicated +.12%.
NASDAQ 100 indicated +.26%.

Morning Preview
US AM Market Call
NASDAQ 100 Pre-Market Indicator/Heat Map
Pre-market Commentary
Before the Bell Video(bottom right)
Asian Indices
European Indices
Top 20 Business Stories
In Play
Bond Ticker
Analyst Actions
Macro Calls
CNBC Guest Schedule

Earnings of Note

FDS 3-for-2
MATR 3-for-2

Economic Data
Consumer Credit for December is estimated to rise $8.0B versus an 8.7B decline in November.

BOTTOM LINE: I expect US stocks to open higher in the morning on gains in Asia, lower energy prices, a stabilizing US dollar, short-covering and bargain hunting. The Portfolio is 125% net long heading into the week.

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